Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org banner

1 - 20 of 75 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,466 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ah. My first thread. Hopefully it won't die a speedy death.

Can anyone out there shed some light on the Hardley phenomenon? It seems to have seeped into the subconscious of American society, and I simply cannot understand why. Now, I don't have anything against them, but why have they gained such a mythic status?

Recently I have had some encounters that have simply left me dumbfounded. When one of the ladies that I work with got a look at my bike, she scowled, puffed a drag off her cigarette and flatly asked 'why didn't you get a Harley'? When I asked her if thats what she had, she calmly explained that she doesn't like motorcycles, but if she did, she would want a Harley. I found this to be incredibly bizarre. So there I was somehow feeling that I had to explain myself. Has this ever happened to anyone else?

A few days later my boss was talking about terminal cancer, and knowing that you are going to die(long story, work with me). He said that if he were in that situation he would party 24/7. A sentiment I could get behind. But then his next line was 'I'd buy a Harley and do nothing but ride and party'. Knowing that he doesn't even ride, I questioned this logic. Why would you get a Harley? His response? He said that he actually didn't know, but 'that's what all guys my age do'.

And then yesterday, while discussing my bike with another co-worker she asks, so is it a Harley? When I asked her why she said that, her response was 'because thats what everyone wants'. When I asked if she rode, she said that her husband and she used to ride but that they didn't have a bike at this time. But, if they did, it would likely be a Goldwing.

:confused: :confused: ????????????

So tell me, are we the crazy ones? Am I missing something? Is it more rational than I think to willingly pay $20K+ for 700 lbs of slow moving iron?

Please, I'm begging, somebody help me!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,203 Posts
Those who buy, and those non-riders who want/like Harleys, it has nothing to do with the bike. As riders ourselfs, we know they are outdated, heavy, poor brakes, etc. What Harley has done is create a desirable image. They have managed to equate Harleys with freedom, rebelion, things your mom doesnt want you to do. Its a great fantasy to have as you grind through life with your cubical, fat wife, pushy boss and annoying kids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Some of my theories.
The vibration- makes the Viagra unnecessary.
The clothes- make closet fags look tough.
The idea- that a woman is looking for a "bad boy".
Made in America- too bad we can't do better.
The noise- at least it sounds powerful.
The comraderie- having others be empathetic to your mechanical situation.
Chrome- something to fondle/polish in the presence of others.
:D :p
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,466 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Those who buy, and those non-riders who want/like Harleys, it has nothing to do with the bike.
Exactly. THIS is the Hardley phenomenon. And this is what confounds me.

What Harley has done is create a desirable image. They have managed to equate Harleys with freedom, rebelion, things your mom doesnt want you to do.
Right! But how? What is it about these bikes that strikes such an ominous chord? Is it fallout from the 'Easy Rider' phenom?

Made in America- too bad we can't do better.
Or too bad that so many of their parts are built in Japan. V-Rod anyone?

The noise- at least it sounds powerful.
Alright, I'll buy that.

The comraderie- having others be empathetic to your mechanical situation.
:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Way back when I saw an interview with some muckety muck at HD and he said in the interview:

"We don't sell motorcycles, we sell lifestyles."

That's the epitome of American marketing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,098 Posts
Mo Noyz said:
Please, I'm begging, somebody help me!!!!!!
First a little definition of terms is needed, as the word "Hardley" is nearly as misused as the Beemer/Bimmer thing.
In the moto world, the term "Hardley" refers to Metric cruisers. The term was coined to describe the genre of bikes that imitate the Harley.....it's a simple pun....
:cool:


Second, why do you care how another man chooses to enjoy his life?


Third...I doubt anyone can logically defend that owning a 180mph sportbike is any more or less rational than owning a 20K piece of "iron". In the end they are all motorcycles, and there is enough intolerance coming from outside our 2-wheeled community to go around. Adding more from the inside seems counterproductive imho....


Fourth.....it's all good....
I have met many "riders" while touring this great land aboard a motorcycle...and without single exception, I have yet to find one that was a "hater". Sure, we joke and rib each other across the sportbike/cruiser trench, but the only haters on either side I have met were posers. Show me a poser, and I will show you someone with intolerance and misunderstanding of other bikes.....but show me a "rider", and I will show you someone with an affinity for all things 2-wheeled, and a genuine respect for how other men choose to live their life.


[Off Soapbox]

Okay, now just for kicks....edumacate us a little bit on what V-Rod components you feel come from Japan.... :idunno:

Oh, and then just for an extra kick, tell us who imports more bikes into the opposite nation....Japan or America? :smilebig:



Not hacking on you....I just have strong opinions about my 2 wheeled friends that enjoy their Harleys and Hardleys alike.....
:thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,397 Posts
Out here we don't hear that as much. First words out of the younger crowd is what kind of sportbike do you have, CC's etc... The "older" crowd, my age and beyond seem to be fixated on the Harley craze right now. Maybe it has something to do with the age we grew up in. Honda's, yamaha's, Suzuki's and the like were for riding in the dirt not the road. The metric cruisers have come a long way but have yet to make it big in Hollywood. People nowadays look at harley's (IMO) as a status symbol same BMW, Lexus and the like.

Gonna get flamed for this but, I agree with baketech on this one. The true riders that I have seen will compliment and ask questions. It goes both ways, the posers are normally the problem. Out here on the coast cruisers are big, esp Harleys. Have slid in and ridden with many a pack, no problems. We are there for one thing, to ride. Just have different styles of riding.

I think it your case there are most likely more cruisers about then sportbikes. So there is the association factor. Just educate 'em on why you ride this bike than the others. Gonna pay 20 k ya want something with a windhshield, radio and room for 4. Oh, and ya don't have to work on every weekend. (actually, they are getting better).

Japanese/foriegn Harley parts. A buddy of mine order a part from some Harley dealer. The part came, stamped right on the part: Made in China. Went into a harley dealership in Arizona, many parts made overseas. All after market stuff but it is there. Funny thing there was, the woman that waited on us owned a R6.

Good luck with em'
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,666 Posts
There are posers and riders at both ends of the cruiser-sportbike spectrum. Cruisers far outnumber sportbikes in my area of CA. I'm one of the hopeless dorks that feels compelled to wave to other riders, and it is usually met with scowls from the cruiser elite.

But...there are some riders in the cruiser community. One day I stopped next to a Harley at the only stop sign in the last 5 miles of my commute home. Pulling up next to him I decided not to annoy him with any waves or greetings. While we're waiting for slow traffic to clear the intersection, I hear someone yell "nice day for a ride!". Huh? I look over and sure enough he's talking to me. I say "yeah" and then shoot through the intersection and start running through the gears (on my old Hawk). At about 90mph I glance in my mirror to see how badly I've left him and there he is, hunkered down ready to go. We went through a set of big sweepers at over 100 and he stayed right with me. As I pulled into the left-turn lane he roared past waving a big :thumb: . He seemed to be having so much fun that he made me feel like one of the scowling cruiser riders by comparison. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,538 Posts
G-Force Junkie said:
Those who buy, and those non-riders who want/like Harleys, it has nothing to do with the bike. As riders ourselfs, we know they are outdated, heavy, poor brakes, etc. What Harley has done is create a desirable image. They have managed to equate Harleys with freedom, rebelion, things your mom doesnt want you to do. Its a great fantasy to have as you grind through life with your cubical, fat wife, pushy boss and annoying kids.
It's a lot like... hm.. . Microsoft. We all know Widoze is outdated, haevy and brakes.. but.. peolpe STILL Buy it.. (crap.. I'm using one now.. but that's becaue the customers PVN.. re.. ah fuggit.... )

Why someone would buy a Hardly is beyond me... really. But then I ride a heavy-underpowered v-twin myself.. largly because it was my dream bike since I first laid eyes on one 1995. Fortunatly.. it has not disapointed.. :)

I have a memoral ride for a fallen rider today.. I did not organize it, the CMA (of which he was also a member) did. Meeting at the local Hardly dealership.... should be interesting.. I'll take as many pictures as I can.. maybe it will shed light on this phenomena.. (ahahh yeah RIGHT!).

- H
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,595 Posts
i went to the local shop today to look at cruisers/toureres and it just so happened to be a resaler of HD's. I sat on a few and they just felt a little off to me. So i looked at the price tag and those SOB's were 16-19k, the 3 i looked at were all 1800ci motors and one had as many as 47ooo miles on it. I was in disbelief. :eek: 17k for a 47k mile bike, you got to be shitting me. so i asked the feller why i should buy a HD over a honda or kawasaki, etc he says they are better mechanically and hold thier value and other HD owners wont make fun of you :eek: :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,271 Posts
Here's my "Hardley". It makes over 98 pound feet of torque at 2100 RPM, has over 100 HP, is liquid cooled, 4 valve OHC and is way quiet compared to an actual "Harley". It doesn't vibrate because it's counterbalanced, hauls me and my wife around comfortably and I paid 11,200.00 OTD. With 2 up, it eats big Sportsters (running solo) for breakfast . . .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,582 Posts
People say the same to me. Then i ask those people, if chevrolet made a 6 litre engine in an SUV that had a grand total of 40 horsepower would you buy it??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,098 Posts
MACI4LIFE said:
People say the same to me. Then i ask those people, if chevrolet made a 6 litre engine in an SUV that had a grand total of 40 horsepower would you buy it??
Just the engine, or the whole SUV?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,134 Posts
I have met some really nice folks that ride Harleys. Baketech is right I guess, let people do as they do. I went with Holeshot today for the funeral ride and we had to meet at a Harley dealership, suprisingly no sportbikes got pummeled :D

The cruiser thing doesn't bother me in the least. Who wouldn't mind a VTX/Roadstar Warrior, or the like in addition to thier sportbikes if you had the money? I'd ride it to work, prolly not in the twisties however :evilaugh:

I am and continue to be baffled on why people pay so much for a name. You could get a lot more performance (power/brakes/handling) and reliability for 1/2 the price. Frank's cruiser cost $11.2k and eats Harleys for lunch, and is probably damn reliable too. Why would you pay more for less? For a name? I don't understand it, but that is what many people want to do. Let them do it I say, just don't slow us up in the corners during our group rides :smilebig:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,549 Posts
I'm with Baketech. Each to their own, ride what you dream of riding, just so long as you have fun and respect the other persons decision to ride something different.

Though I think Mo Noyz's point was that the public in general seem to percieve Harleys as "the bike" and they themselves do not know why this is so, yet they will happily tell you that you are obviously retarded for not buying a Harley.

Let's face it, in regards to "reliability", working on your bike is kinda fun. How many people here do their own mods, servicing, or even oil change? Show me the percentage of car drivers who do any of their own work and bike riders are sure to do more work on their own bike. If Harleys are less reliable, maybe the Harley owner enjoys working on the bike over beers with his friends.

Seen quite a few threads here with people offering to drop 'round to another members place for a beer and to give them a hand fitting the new pipe/undertail/brake lines etc... Besides, nothing like working on your own bike to bring you closer to the person/machine "at one" feeling when you ride.

Z...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
I've always thought it would be nice to have a custom HD, probably leaning more toward one with a "cafe-racer" look to it. Full USD front suspension, quality radial sport-oriented tires, dual front brakes, etc. All in black, of course.

However, I could never have it be my only bike. It would have to be the third one in line, after the sport-bike and sport-tourer.

HD is the king of marketing, IMO. They sell a "lifestyle", not a bike. I have a couple friends that work at an HD dealership. One of them pointed out something I found interesting... He said they make more money off the accessories sales than they do from selling bikes. People who have never even ridden pillion on a motorcycle, let alone piloted one, will come into the HD dealership to buy clothes, keychains, coffee mugs, etc.

Have you ever heard of a non-rider walking into a Yamaha or Honda dealership and stating that they just have to have a logo t-shirt or hat? It may have happened somewhere, sometime, but I haven't heard of it.

People who don't ride are comfortable with Harleys, as they are easy to ride and don't demand a lot of commitment from the rider.

By comparison, a sportbike does require a high level of commitment, again IMO. Sportbikes are about performance, speed, a bit of posing, and a certain level of risk. Harleys are about image, lifestyle, rebellion and yes, posing.

Sportbike riders go to schools to improve their riding capabilities, and spend time at trackdays, generally for the same reason. Harley riders go to huge gatherings, generally to socialize (and drink beer :cheers: ).

As far as I'm concerned, we're all brothers (and sisters) if we're on two wheels, be it sportbike, cruiser, tourer, dirtbike, or scooter. I've always gotten along with the cruiser set, because they really are like us to a large degree. All you have to do is walk up and say, "Wow! Cool bike!" and you've instantly made a friend.

Yes, Harleys are antiquated, overpriced, air-cooled, pushrod, belt-driven, noisy and under-performing machines (with a few exceptions). But, to each his/her own. There's a certain visceral thrill that comes with a Harley. And chicks dig 'em. I've never heard a woman say that my sportbike vibrates at just the right frequency, but I've heard that said many times about a Harley. :boobies:

Stepping down from soapbox, now. :soapbox:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,098 Posts
CanyonCarver said:
I've never heard a woman say that my sportbike vibrates at just the right frequency,
Take her for a ride on a VFR.....keep the tach buzzin around 7K through the twisties, and you will have a riding partner for life... :evilaugh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,582 Posts
Baketech said:
Just the engine, or the whole SUV?
whoops. the whole SUV. It was just one point of the argument, and one of the first things people like to talk about (and we're fed in advertisements)is their engine performance (in cars that is).

Usually when i ask that question, they wonder what i mean and it gets them thinking.

I personally don't look at it as why ride this over the other, but more like getting the best value for the buck. Which ever way you look at it, the only value a harley has is the resale value.
 
1 - 20 of 75 Posts
Top